MARION, Va. — A Chattanooga, Tennessee, man died following a pursuit in Smyth County on Saturday night.
Multiple 911 calls and a pursuit led to a medical crisis, which resulted in the death of David C. Helsel, 59, according to a Smyth County Sheriff’s Office news release. Dispatchers first received a call after 8 p.m. about a pickup truck driving on the wrong side of Nicks Creek Road in Atkins, the Sheriff’s Office said. Another 911 call came in saying the same vehicle broke through the gate at Utility Trailer’s Atkins plant.
A federal law enforcement agent, state police troopers and a deputy intercepted the vehicle, which would not stop, on Nicks Creek Road. During a brief pursuit that followed, the vehicle attempted to strike several law enforcement officers before hitting a Smyth County deputy head-on, the release states. As the pickup continued to flee, a deputy forced it off the roadway, and the driver then attempted to set his vehicle on fire as officers tried to remove him, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Once in custody, Helsel suffered a medical emergency and died at the hospital, the release states.
A Smyth County deputy and two Marion officers suffered minor injuries. An investigation is underway.